Monday 23 July 2007

Tara protest attracts 1,000 marchers

RENOWNED artist 90-year-old Louis le Brocquy joined 1,000 marchers in Dublin seeking to reroute a motorway from the historic Hill of Tara.

The Love Tara demonstration brought protesters from the Garden of Remembrance, along the banks of the Liffey, to the offices of Environment Minister John Gormley in the Custom House.

Organisers TaraWatch claimed the Green Party leader has power to change his predecessor’s decision regarding the M3 route in Co Meath.

“Apparently Minister Gormley is getting annoyed at people saying that he does have the power to change the M3 route,” said Laura Grealish of TaraWatch. “Perhaps that explains why there were no Green Party representatives at the march today, unlike previous ones.”

The marchers, on Saturday, carried the flags of all 32 counties to signify the importance of the Tara archaeological site to people all over the island of Ireland.

Some demonstrators then moved to visit Cloverhill Prison to show solidarity with four men currently being detained in relation to demonstrations that took place at Tara some days earlier.

The Tara Four will appear before Judge Brophy in Navan District Court this coming week, after refusing to agree to bail conditions that they would not return to the site to protest.

When it was not possible on Saturday to turn in 50,000 petition signatures to Mr Gormley, an email was sent directing him to thousands of online petition signatures. The written petitions will be handed in today.

Organiser Vincent Salafia said: “Minister Gormley obviously wants us to ask the courts to compel him to act, even though the EU has stated the demolition of the national monument in Lismullin is illegal.”

Mr Salafia noted that another national monument had been discovered recently by the National Roads Authority. The 10th century souterrain complex — consisting of underground passages and chambers — is thought to have been used for defence against Viking raiders.

Mr Salafia said Mr Gormley had the power to reroute the M3 as this was a material change in circumstances from the order given by former environment minister Dick Roche.

Irish Examiner

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